This list is from Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinberg. Again, I'm sharing as I want to have the list handy. They also apply in a variety of situations.
1. Reach out to me.
Many are looky-loos - they slow down at the scene of an accident, read the details and share them, but never reach out to the victim. "...Your presence matters. When you reach out it means more to us than you'll ever know."
2. Notice me.
"The desire to try to connect with a person's loss is strong, but sometimes it can take the conversation to unhealthy places. This is not the time to process your pain. Simply listen with out trying to fix the situation or us. We just need you to be with us and for us. Notice us and pay attention to our needs. Some days we need to commiserate; other days we need you to distract us with fun stories. When you're unsure of our needs, ask, 'What do you need from me right now.'"
3. Do what you say you're going to do.
4. Ask God how to pray for me.
"Praying for us is good, but asking God how to pray is better......instead of praying for what you think we need, ask the Holy Spirit how to pray before you begin."
5. Don't give me any clichés.
"Skip the Bible clichés. This is not the time to remind us that god has a plan or God works all things for good or God is going to use this to fill-in-the-blank... Such words can bruise rather than bless, hurt rather than heal. If you share a Bible passage, make sure it's been meaningful to you in your own time of suffering. Pray about when and how to share the scripture. Always do so with gentleness and grace. "
6. Meet my real needs.
"Instead of filling a person's life with trinkets, ask what the person needs. The person may need help paying legal or medical bills, buying groceries, making a mortgage or rent payment, or caring for their children."
7. Remember my family.
"Let them know you're praying for them too. If you know the family well, spend one-on-one time with the kids and listen to them, even if they say or do something outrageous. They are also processing grief ad may need a safe place to express anger, sadness, and ask tough questions.
8. Stay with me.
"Ambulance chasers are a dime a dozen; re-builders are hard to find. Swarms of people appear on the scene of a crisis, but six months later they're nowhere to be found....If you have a meaningful friendship with someone who has experienced great loss, consider setting a reminder on your calendar to check back every few weeks. Keep letting them know that you love them, you're praying for them, and you're still with them."
Living all of life before the face of God...